With the number of people with the Omicron variant of Covid still surging across Europe, it looks as though many people who are fortunate enough to do so could be working from home for some time to come.
That said, homeworking can cause stress and mental health issues due to feelings of isolation and an inability to “switch off” at the end of the day, as the home environment merges with the workplace.
It’s not just your mental health either. Without a daily commute, you may not be getting the same levels of physical exercise you used to, as you no longer walk to the train station, run after the bus or cycle to the office.
So how do you stay physically and mentally healthy while working remotely? Discover 10 things you could do that might help.
1. Schedule regular exercise
Homeworking may mean you’re not getting the exercise you used to when you commuted. Whether that’s walking or cycling, not having to do it anymore could be detrimental to your physical and psychological health, as exercise benefits both.
Taking a brisk walk, following a fitness video or using a mobile app could help provide the exercise you would have had from your commute.
2. Set and stick to a routine
Working from home can blur the line between work and personal time, although setting and sticking to a routine can help overcome this.
Wake up at the same time every day, eat breakfast and shower as if you were going into the office. You could also schedule a “commute time” during which you can exercise, and when your workday ends, make sure you stop and focus on your home life.
3. Eat healthily
With fewer distractions at home, you might be more tempted to snack, which could mean you’re eating more foods that are less healthy for you, such as crisps, biscuits or chocolate bars. If you are, try swapping these for fruit or low-fat alternatives.
At mealtimes, eat more vegetables, whole grains and lean meat and reduce processed foods that are high in saturated and trans-fat. Eating properly at mealtimes could help keep your hunger at bay and reduce the temptation to snack.
4. Make a dedicated workspace
If you can, create a workspace away from family and distractions like the television. Ensure you have everything you need and shut yourself away to help make sure you don’t have to leave your workspace and get side-tracked.
Sit at a desk or table if possible, as working on the sofa for extended periods of time could result in bad posture that could cause musculoskeletal problems. If you don’t already have them, buy a desk and office chair if you have the space.
5. Keep hydrated
Ensure you’re drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Drinking water is always good, and try to avoid sugary beverages such as sodas, energy drinks and fruit drinks.
Coffee and tea contain caffeine, which is a mild diuretic and may cause dehydration if you drink too much of it. As such, Pique Tea suggests you should limit yourself to around three cups of coffee and six to nine cups of tea a day.
You may want to consider herbal or fruit teas instead.
6. Give yourself a break
Taking breaks is important to help manage stress, and a short break every hour could boost productivity. Ensure you take lunch and concentrate on something else so that you’re more focused when you return.
Spending time outside could help boost your mental health, so consider a walk in a local park or going for a bike ride.
7. Get dressed as if you’re going to the office
According to Scientific American, research found that what you wear could affect how you perform at work. It found that people who wore a suit while negotiating performed better than those who were dressed in casual clothes.
Instead of staying in your pyjamas, put on an outfit you’re likely to wear in the office as it may help boost concentration, and changing it in the evening could help you “switch off”.
8. Get in touch with colleagues
It’s important to have some social connection with colleagues, especially when there is a no face-to-face interaction.
Maintaining social connections with them remotely could help overcome feelings of isolation and improve your overall well-being, which could help you stay motivated.
9. Create a list of top priorities for the day
If you feel as though your to-do list never gets any shorter, prioritise your tasks into those that need to be completed that week and those that need to be finished that day. Limit the latter to five items, as you are more likely to complete them, which will provide a sense of accomplishment.
10. Take a proper lunch break!
While working from home you may be tempted to eat lunch in front of the computer. Instead, close down your computer and take a lunch break, as it will provide a proper rest, which will be better for your mental health and boost your concentration when you return to work.
Get in touch
We hope you found this blog helpful if you’re working from home and intend to continue. If you would like to speak with us about your finances or wealth strategy, please email us at [email protected], we’d be happy to help.